ALIENWARE 17 Evaluation: Why do I spend tens of thousands to buy a game book?

With Core i9-8950HK, NVIDIA GTX 1080 and Tobii eye-tracking capabilities, is ALIENWARE 17 the top flagship in your eyes?

From the heroic alliance to the vanguard, with the continuous improvement of professional competitions, the electric competition industry is also becoming more and more regular. In this context, the various chains associated with it have also ushered in new opportunities for development. A game book with relatively high space utilization is one of them.

Over the past two years, the PC industry has seen the emergence of numerous game book brands. But to say that high-end game brands that are recognized by more people may be the first thing that everyone thinks of is ALIENWARE. Not long ago, we got the new top version of ALIENWARE 17. Let’s talk about it together. What exactly is the product?

A harder look and an exquisite enough workmanship

The A-face of ALIENWARE 17 is made of “anodic alumina” material. It also retains the iconic alien pattern and three grooves that extend to the edge, giving a more calm feeling.

In addition to these we mentioned above, ALIENWARE 17 uses a pre-rotating shaft design that looks very hard and can also reduce the thickness of the machine while ensuring that the heat dissipation area is constant.

Of course, in addition to visual effects, the main purpose of adding the rear protrusion of the fuselage is to consider from the perspective of heat dissipation. At the same time, it also provides more space for the layout of the interface. As far as the new ALIENWARE 17 is concerned, most of its interfaces are behind the fuselage.

These include the RJ45 cable interface, Mini DP, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3, and Alienware graphics card enhancement accelerator ports. For other extended interfaces, the left side of the body provides a Type-C interface, a USB 3.0 interface, and headphones and microphone interfaces; the right side provides a USB 3.0 interface.   

Almost all of our commonly used video, audio, and data transmission interfaces are included. It can be said that the new ALIENWARE 17 interface type is rich enough. In terms of practical convenience at this stage, in fact, you will find that the two USB 3.0 interfaces still appear to be slightly less, probably only to meet the needs of an external set of mice.

However, from another point of view, almost all notebook manufacturers, including Apple, are trying to “dry out” traditional USB interfaces, and the replacement of peripheral devices is probably only a matter of time. Therefore, whether it is from the perspective of ALIENWARE or the user itself, the design it currently adopts is competitive in the following years.

a great screen and feel for the game.

Turn on and look at the screen section. We have this ALIENWARE 17 equipped with a 17.3-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) TN + WVA anti-glare screen (Supporting G-SYNC) The screen refresh rate is 120Hz and the highest brightness is 400nit. In addition, it also provides an optional FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS anti-glare screen.

Simply put the TN + WVA screen used by ALIENWARE 17. In fact, it is still essentially a TN screen. We know that its biggest advantage over IPS screens is that it responds faster and is relatively not prone to picture tearing. This is why many game books or electric display monitors choose TN. One of the reasons for the large screen. Back in our hands this ALIENWARE 17, because it supports G-SYNC, further guarantees the game display screen.

It is worth mentioning that ALIENWARE also uses WVA technology (full name Multi-domain Vertical Alignment) to ensure that it can have a fairly good visual angle. In other words, using it to play games, you don’t have to worry about tearing images and lack of visual angle.

In addition to the overall appearance that can be seen at a glance, in fact, ALIENWARE 17 has also done a lot of work on product details. For example, it added a piano lacquer stick on the bottom of the screen and on the C-side, which cleverly improved the product’s own grade.

In the overall layout of the C-side, the left row of the new ALIENWARE 17 is still a quick key, with the top four of the keyboard, and a total of nine editable shortcuts have been designed.

The keyboard design of ALIENWARE 17 is my favorite place. It supports the “full bond without punch” technique, and since the bond cap is slightly arced, it has a very high degree of fit with the fingers. In addition, it is worth mentioning that the key press itself has made a ladder shape, which increases the contact distance between adjacent keys. In the actual pressing process, the false touch is reduced.

As for the key adjustment, in terms of personal experience, its feedback force adjustment is relatively moderate and does not make people feel too hard and not too soft. In addition, its keystroke is 2.2mm, which can bring a very fast response speed.

The brilliant lighting effect has become an essential element of the game book. As a famous “lamp factory” in the notebook industry, ALIENWARE can be said to be light and familiar with the “playing with lights”.

The lighting of ALIENWARE 17 includes an alien pattern above the top cover, two sets of (four) lampbands on the left and right sides, ALIENWARE words under the B-screen, power switch keys, keyboard backlight, and touch control boards. You can adjust different lighting colors and effects according to your preferences.

Lamps on both sides can be set independently of lighting colors and lighting movements.

Very discerning alien icons.

The light effect adjustment of the keyboard area is partitioned.

The ALIENWARE 17 uses a glass touchpad and looks beautiful after adding light effects.

i9-8950HK + GTX 1080, strong enough performance

As a game book, performance is one of the important criteria for considering whether it is good enough. First of all, in the hardware configuration, we have this ALIENWARE 17 equipped with Intel Core i9-8950HK processor, with 16GB DDR4 2666MHz N memory, body storage part, which is equipped with a 512GB PCIe SSD and a 1TB HDD, graphics card is NVIDIA GTX 1080.

Focus on the Cool i9-8950HK processor it is carrying. It uses a 6-core 12-thread design and can also be seen from the HK suffix, which still supports overfrequency. According to the data given by Intel’s official and CPU-Z, its default frequency is 2.9GHz, the single core frequency is 4.8GHz, the quad-core frequency is 4.5GHz, and the default TDP is 45W.   

Specific to ALIENWARE 17 here, the single-core score is 198 cb and the multi-core score is 1150 cb in terms of the score data given by CINBENCH R15. During the test, we found that it can exceed the frequency to 5.0 GHz near the no-load.

In the GPU section, everyone should be familiar with the NVIDIA GTX 1080 card. It has 2560 stream processors and 64 ROP units with a frequency of 1582 MHz, a memory width of 256 bit, a memory bandwidth of 320 GB/S, and a support of 8 GB GDDR5X memory. From the results of our previous tests, its performance is slightly worse than the desktop version, but the advantage of the mobile version GTX 1070 is obvious.

Of course, from the point of view of the gamers, how it performs in the actual game may be more valuable. With regard to the game test section, this time we chose “Watch Pioneer” and “Singularity Ash” two games.

  • Watch Pioneer Test

Since its release in 2016, the player base of Watch Pioneer can be said to be very large, which is the main reason why we chose it as a test object. In addition, as a shooting game, we also want to use it to examine how well the ALIENWARE 17 displays in real games.

As in previous game tests, vertical synchronization was first turned off before starting, while the frame rate limit was adjusted to an upper limit of 300 frames, and the image quality effect was set to extremely high. For everyone to look more intuitive, we draw a line chart of the data obtained by Fraps software. As can be seen in the diagram, its frame number is stable above 140 frames over a period of time. As far as the actual game experience is concerned, there is no case of a carton, which is also more in line with our expectations.

  • Singular ash test

Compared to the watchdog pioneer, the singularity ash, which is known as the hardware killer, has higher requirements on the hardware configuration, and of course it can better reflect whether the performance of the device itself is good enough. As in the previous steps, we also set it to the highest image quality before testing, while turning off vertical synchronization.

Since the singularity ash game itself comes with BENCHMARK, the test results are relatively more objective than the watchdog pioneers. In this part of the test session, ALIENWARE 17 handed over 52.9 frames. As far as the actual game screen is concerned, its fluency during the entire test is high enough, and there is no case of card screen, which is satisfactory.

Uncommon excellent heat dissipation performance in game books

When referring to laptops, heat dissipation may be a point of concern to everyone. In particular, the game book often needs to operate under long-term, high-load conditions, which also means that it is more demanding on heat dissipation performance.

The previous mentioned in the test performance, this time we got this ALIENWARE 17 equipped with Intel Core i9-8950HK processor and GTX 1080 independent graphics card, want to solve the two hot big The heat is not an easy task.

But after a few days of experience, it can be said that the heat dissipation performance of ALIENWARE 17 is the best of all the game books I have touched in the recent period. The reason for this is that we believe that it is mainly due to two aspects. On the one hand, it is equipped with the improved Alienware Cryo-Tech V2.0 heat dissipation technology. On the other hand, after adopting the new mold, its ventilation effect is greater than that of the old product. Greatly improved.

First of all, in the layout of the heat dissipation window, in addition to the more common side heat dissipation window earlier, the new ALIENWARE 17 added two new heat dissipation windows to the prominent part of the front of the fuselage, that is, now its outlet is 4 This also greatly improves its ventilation effect.

At the same time, since the two new outlets are located in front of the fuselage, it will not affect the actual user experience at all. You don’t have to worry about this.

In order to ensure that more air is inhaled as much as possible in the equipment work project, its inlet is exaggerated. It can also be seen from the above figure that it occupies a very large part of the bottom of the fuselage. In addition, in the details of the inlet and outlet, its grid is actually very wide.

The advantage of this is that it can increase the amount of air inhaled as much as possible, but it also means that it is easy to inhale dust. In this regard, the solution of ALIENWARE 17 is to make a metal mesh inside, so as to minimize this problem we mentioned above.

In the actual heat dissipation performance part, we use the game experience + limit copy machine test in two ways. The former is closer to everyone’s daily use scenario, so it is also more reference, and the latter is to examine its performance in some extreme cases. As with the previous test performance, we still chose the watchdog pioneer as the test object.

After running the game for 30 minutes in a row, the data measured by the warm gun shows that the temperature of the palm part is only 25 ° C, which is almost equivalent to room temperature (air-conditioned room), and the palm of the hand does not feel the temperature rise.

Relatively speaking, the temperature of the keyboard area where the position is more dependent is slightly higher, which is 35.9 ° C. However, this temperature is still very low, and it will not affect the manipulation experience during the actual game.

In the extreme heat dissipation part, we chose to use the Furmark copy machine software to test the ALIENWARE 17. Furmark will operate the CPU and graphics card of the two heating components of the whole machine. From the temperature curve change of the GPU in the figure, it can be seen that after 15 minutes of operation, its maximum temperature rose to 86 ° C, and then it leveled off.

It is worth mentioning that during the entire process, the temperature rise is relatively slow, and it only peaked in about 8 minutes. This also shows from another perspective that its heat dissipation performance is indeed very good.  

An interesting and practical black technology: eyeball tracking

After ALIENWARE had just replaced the new mold in 2016, I had evaluated ALIENWARE 17. Some regrets were that the machine that was obtained at the time did not support Tobii eye-tracking technology. So after getting the new top ALIENWARE 17, we also experienced its Tobii eye-tracking function for the first time.

Simply put its principles. When our eyes look in different directions, there will be subtle changes in the eyes to produce some features that can be extracted. The device can extract these features through image capture, track changes in the eyes in real time, and give feedback to achieve the use of glasses. The purpose of manipulation.

On ALIENWARE 17, Tobii’s eye-tracking function can be implemented in three functions, including automatically lighting the screen by detecting the human eye, unlocking the Windows Hello interface, and game control. In addition, Tobii’s current application also has an aspect of recording the perspective direction, which can be used to improve the technology according to the perspective direction analysis by observing the observation method of the professional electric racer during the game.

At present, there are roughly two kinds of Windows Hello unlocking methods commonly used on notebooks, one is fingerprint unlocking and the other is facial unlocking. The eyeball unlocking of ALIENWARE 17 is somewhat similar to facial unlocking, but it is essentially different. Its principle is actually the same as that of the Samsung S8 series of iris unlocking, which is done by identifying the iris.

At the same time, the extraction methods of the two are basically the same. Both actively project infrared beams and other beams to the iris to extract features. As far as the actual experience is concerned, its entry process is very simple, and the actual recognition accuracy is very high, and the unlocking speed is also very fast. However, one problem is that since the eye-tracking recognizer of ALIENWARE 17 is located under the screen, the opening and closing angle of the screen will have a certain influence on it.

Its other function is to wake up the screen. In simple terms, when the ALIENWARE 17 is on the screen, you can wake up the screen by looking at the eyeball tracker, and when you look away from the screen, it will automatically extinguish. On the one hand, it has played a role in energy conservation. On the other hand, it has also played a protective role in personal privacy.

Of course, the most novel feature of Tobii eye-tracking is that it can replace some of the functions of the mouse to some extent. Especially during the game, you can control the perspective very easily through the eyes.

Including “Tom Cransey: The Blockade of the Whole Territory”, “Watchdog 2”, “Killing Out of Bound: Human Division” and other relatively familiar games, the number of games currently supported by it has exceeded 100, and the optional space is still relatively large.

However, in the actual experience process, we also found that compared with the mouse, there is still a gap in the response speed through the eye control, there will be some delay. At the same time, using this method for a long time to manipulate, the eyes will be tired.

To sum up, at this stage, the Tobii eye-tracking function of ALIENWARE may be more important to unlock and automatically light the screen. But what is most worth looking forward to is obviously its application in the game. If the future can be further optimized, this new way of interaction will obviously make it easier to manipulate this family.

A top game book

The article is almost over here. Looking back at the question that the article began to raise, in fact, ALIENWARE 17 is indeed expensive. First of all, in terms of product brand value, thanks to years of accumulation in the high-end game field, ALIENWARE has been recognized by many players.

In addition to this, it also performed well enough on the polishing of the product. First of all, in addition to the silver version we got, it also provides black options, which also takes into account the preferences of different groups of people. In terms of hardware configuration, Intel Core i9-8950HK processor plus the top NVIDIA GTX 1080 unique performance in the current game book, so that it can cope with the vast majority of games, it is very satisfactory.

Of course, the addition of Tobii eye-tracking technology also brings more possibilities to ALIENWARE 17. As we said earlier, if we can do further optimization in the future, this new human-computer interaction method has a lot of room for practicality and convenience.

On the whole, as the top product in the ALIENWARE family, ALIENWARE 17 is doing very well, both in terms of design and detail processing. It can be said that it has shown all aspects of a top game should have the level.